Friday, May 30, 2014

Homemade Yogurt

I made a batch of yogurt 2 days before I had Faith and finished flavoring the yogurt about a week later.  Here's the process:

What you will need is a crock pot,a candy thermometer, a 1\3 cup of starter (all you need is plain yogurt that has the active cultures and no gelatin added) and a gallon on milk.  I use 2% because the higher the fat content the thicker your yogurt is naturally.
For my starter I froze a whole ice cube tray from my last batch of yogurt I made.  I only have to use 3 of the cubes as a starter.  If using homemade yogurt you should only use 2nd generation homemade yogurt.  The cultures will become weaker as you reuse it.

You pour the whole gallon of milk into the crock pot and turn it on high. You can also heat the milk on the stove in a pot.

The milk needs to reach the temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off the crock pot or remove from the stove.

You will then let it cool to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If in a pot now is the time you should pour it into your crock pot.

Add your starter with the cultures.

Stir it in.

Cover with lid and wrap in a towel.  It will sit overnight on your counter.

In the morning it will be thick.  Place in the fridge for 12-14 hours.

It will be thick enough to cut with a spoon.

If you like extra thick yogurt you can strain the whey out with cheesecloth and a colander. The longer you let it sit the more whey will be strained and the thicker the yogurt will be.  You can save the whey to use in pancakes and other baked goods.

Once it was strained.

We got about 3 quarts of yogurt.

When ready to flavor divide into bowls.

Vanilla yogurt.

I use Torani vanilla syrup to sweeten the vanilla yogurt.
When making fruit flavored you can use fresh or frozen fruit and then add granulated sugar and let it come to a boil to make the syrup on the stove top. I got these strawberries from our strawberry patch, there were the extra small ones.

Once it comes to a boil use a masher to mash up the fruit. Let cool.

Pour over your yogurt. And stir until combined.

I always keep a little bit of plain yogurt for cooking.  You can use plain yogurt mixed with milk to use as a substitute for buttermilk.

And that is how you make homemade yogurt!  It's super yummy and tastes just like what you would buy at the store.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Newborn Photoshoot

I think I learned a lot during this photoshoot and was pleased with how they turned out.  It was difficult to get this little girl to sleep through it though!  She's pretty good at sleeping but for some reason when I needed her to, she just wasn't going to cooperate! I do think it would be fun at some point to play with Photoshop. These were all edited in Picasa 3.  I did enjoy experimenting a little bit with different back grounds. 

I'll do post in a few days to tell you a little bit more about the first 2 weeks of life with 4 kids 5 and under.  There's been some challenges but also some sweet blessings. I will say one thing!  This little girl is SWEET and a cuddle bug. We love her.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hospital Stay

Dan and I enjoyed our stay in the hospital. About 2 hours after Faith's birth we were moved to the Mother and Baby unit.  Dan went and got us some yummy steaks and chocolate pie for dessert.  They only had soup and maybe a sandwich at the hospital and I was STARVING!!!
A nurse came in around 6pm to give Faith her first bath.  We were able to finish eating dinner and getting comfortable just in time for family to come visit.  We were really looking forward to seeing the kids!  I already missed them, especially Charlie.  When everyone came we ended up with 14 visitors at one time!  It was a little bit overwhelming but great to see everyone.  I was also pretty drugged from the Percocet and Bendyrl.  I actually was a little giggly on our way to the Mother and Baby from the L&D unit.  Nurse Jenny thought it was pretty funny and said she was glad she only gave me one :). 
Sunday evening was a rough night for Faith. She wanted to eat constantly and wouldn't go back to sleep.  We discovered our second night she did a lot better if she was up right.  So we snuggled a lot of the night.  Dan would take the first shift of the evening so I could get some sleep and then I would take the later shift.  I spent all of Monday sleeping and resting.  We took a short walk but I could hardly keep my eyes open or concentrate on much. We also had a couple of visitors including our Labor & Delivery nurse, Jenny on Monday.
I always enjoy the "babymoon" as I like to call it in the hospital.  You can devote every moment you're awake getting to know your new little one.
My mom arrived Tuesday morning.  Dan went and picked her up after breakfast.  I took a nap, rested and meant with all the doctors to be discharged so once they came back we were able to get everything packed up and were ready to leave by 11 am.

Aunt Becca and Faith

Charlie was not a happy camper :).

Hannah was so excited to get to hold her!

Bella was also excited to hold Faith.

Our new family!

Trying to get Charlie to touch Sister.

Aunt Shalyse and Faith

We always have the baby give the siblings a present the first time they meet.

Uncle Vaughn and Faith.

When the nurse brought her back from her hearing screening they had all wrapped up from head to toe.

Daddy and his tiny bundle! She was lengthen of his forearm.

Wide awake and looking at daddy.
Grandma getting her dressed to go home!